Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stick a Fork In It

Well, one more day and we are finished with 2008. It's done, people. Time to look forward to a glorious, God-given new year. Aren't we blessed to be alive?
Today, I read a newsletter from Women's Division. In it were listed the Women's Division Grants for Special Mission Projects. One that caught my eye was a grant amounting to a couple of thousand dollars for TATOO REMOVAL.
(I told you it caught my eye.) So, being thoroughly stunned, I read further.
Now, here is an aside.......years ago, I proposed that an interesting fund raiser might be temporary UMW tatoos....we could sell them like Mission Ribbon Corsages....well, that was quickly poopooed!
Back to the Tatoo Removal Grant. The Grant went to a group that helped newly immigrated persons, who might have Gang related tatoos(and would like to have them removed) pay for removal, to help them lead more productive and safer lives.
WOW. That's thinking outside the box, fellow UM's.
What an interesting Mission.
And, you pastors think UMW is for little old ladies, who never do anything new! Open hearts, open doors, OPEN MINDS.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Musings 2008

"Joy to the World". Got the holiday spirit? I've been humming Christmas Carols for weeks now. The packages are all mailed,the house is decorated, and there's a couple of inches of fresh snow on the ground.
"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." The Kansas City Chorale (my husband Scott sings low bass with this group)gave two beautiful Christmas Music Concerts last week. It's an interesting fact that 5 of the 24 Singers are UMC Choir Directors, from various towns in the Kansas City Area. They're excited to be nominated for a couple more Grammy Awards for 2008. Last year, they won a Grammy for Best Engineered Album.
"Angels we Have Heard on High." Our Church Choir presents its annual Christmas Cantata this Sunday. We're hoping for good weather through Sunday.
On Christmas Eve, Kearney UMC will hold three services and the combined choirs will sing at the seven-thirty service. Our tradition is to close the service with the choir singing "Peace" and the congregation singing, "Silent Night".

"We Wish You A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving at Della Lamb Community Services

Today was a big day at Della Lamb in Kansas City. The UMC related Mission gave over 1200 families the groceries to prepare a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks to many donations from our United Methodist Churches and others, each family that qualified received a turkey or hen, a frozen pie, dressing mix, gravy mix, boxed mashed potatoes, canned veggies, cranberry sauce, eggs, margarine, and a cake mix. The Lamb has been doing this "give away" for many years.
When I arrived at the Lamb this morning, the "clients" were lined up all the way around the block. It was amazing to see the many immigrants from dozens of countries that The Lamb serves. Several of the African women simply put the brown paper bags of groceries on their heads, took the hands of one or two preschoolers and walked out.
There were many other volunteers there, including a Sunday School Class from UMC Church of the Resurrection in Kansas. I worked with old friends, Dr. Eph and Jan Ehly. Kevin Cozad from Kearney UMC, and Pat Johnson, our Della Lamb Board President were helping, also.
Judy Akers and her staff are incredible. They had worked for days sacking the non-perishables and today before the "clients" came, we added the refrigerated stuff. Tomorrow, Della staff will begin to prepare for Operation Christmas. Food for a meal and gifts for all family members will be prepared to be given to needy families.
Many of the "clients" were non-English speakers, but everyone I encountered smiled and said, "Thank you". It was a wonderful and exhausting day, but I was the one who was truly blessed and I am truly thankful for the experience.
Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Planning for 2009

The Missouri Conference United Methodist Women held our Fall Planning Meeting and District Officer Training on the 7th and 8th of November. Our host church was Fairview UMC in Columbia, and as usual with the meetings we have held there, the pastor Nick Campbell, really treated us royally. It was good to come in after driving from all parts of the state to hot coffee and a warm meeting room.
Our theme this year was DOZENS OF D.O.T.S and we carried out the theme in creative ways. Our 12 Districts (x) 12 Officers gave us plenty of opportunities to DOT our t's and CROSS our eyes. We had a great time.
The Conference Mission Team will start off the year with our Legislative Event, in early March. Missouri's Legislative Event is the oldest UMW Event of it's kind in the U.S. Now, that's not to say that we are the oldest UMWs in the U.S. However, the Rev. Ron Graham did call me an old lady once! I should have challenged him to a Smack Down. He's older than dirt!
Then in May, we will host our Spiritual Growth Retreats. June is Missouri Annual Conference and we we again hold our Annual Walk for Mission Giving. Head's up...we'll all be in RED.
July is our Cooperative School of Christian Mission. That event is sponsored by the General Church and UMW. We always have marines there........a few really good men! But, of course we would always welcome more, as we learn and celebrate the Mission work of the United Methodist Church. CSOCM is held at our own Central Methodist College in Fayette.
In September, we will travel to Poplar Bluff for our Annual Meeting. October will be District Meetings and then it will be time to plan for 2009.
Check out our Web Pages on the moumethodist.org web site, for the exact dates of our events.
United Methodist Women is SOOOOO alive and well in the state of Missouri.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Southwest District

In my UMW travels, I have been blessed to attend many Fall District Meetings. This past Saturday, Scott and I drove down to Lamar, in the Southwest District. It was a beautiful drive, sunny and clear.
We were welcomed by the UMW members at the Lamar UMC, which has to be one of the very best church facilities in the entire state. The breakfast spread was outstanding (who said UMW meals are a thing of the past?).
Donna Ford presided in fine fashion, at the business meeting. And, after she congratulated Janet Fairbrother for being the SW District Woman of the Year in Mission, she told about one unit who had nominated all (5) of their nonarian (that's my word for 90 year olds) members for the Award.
Thinking this was a terrific idea, Donna and her Mission Team decided to present a "Well done, good and faithful servant Award" to all of the United Methodist Women in their District, who were 90 or more years young.
Lo and behold there were more than 40 names submitted. Donna made certificates and we presented them at the meeting. It was a heart warming event.
My concluding comment is WAKE UP UNITED METHODISTS, from our Bishop to our Church Custodians. It's great to celebrate our youth. After all they are our FUTURE. BUT, for Heaven's Sake, let us never forget our Older Folk. WE owe them so much. They have nurtured us, and mentored us, and loved us into who we are as a Church today.
Let's celebrate ALL of our Members.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Yesterday, I was on a Mission. I set out to find a home for the 100 plus cloth diapers and 20 totebags that were given to me last weekend at our UMW Annual Meeting. As I was packing up to leave Springfield, a woman approached me and asked if I would take her Unit's items to Kansas City. Of course, I replied. Only later did I realize that my ready answer would cause a bit of an issue. I forgot to ask her where I was supposed to deliver them.
I drive a Volkswagon Bug, already packed with three women and their luggage. When I saw the stack of items piled by my teenie weenie car, I thought I was in trouble. However, we managed to squeeze everything in.....people, luggage, posters, diapers and totes and return home to KC.
I had to be in Liberty, yesterday, so I dropped in at the North Star UMC. They were nice but knew nothing about where to deposit my cargo. I asked if they had a list for Festival of Sharing items (thinking that at least I might determine who wanted my treasure) and they told me that they didn't "do" the festival.
Next, I headed to the First UMC of Liberty. Their Mission Coordinator helped me locate a drop off for the Festival Of Giving. But, he didn't have a list of their needed items. It seems that their youth used to "do" the Festival, but they aren't participating this year.
I then called Broadway UMC, a Festival Drop Off Point. I left a message on their machine.
Then I called FUMC North Kansas City and talked to Kate McClaine. She said that she thought
Broadway would only accept items on one day, very close to the Festival date.
Next, I called Joyce Holley. Left another message. Then, I called the conference office of Creative Ministries. Left another message.
By now, I decided to go home, unload my car and wait for an answer from someone who could help me. The Conference Office returned my call and suggested that I call Broadway UMC. (Picture the liturgical circles here?)
Skip ahead to this morning. Joyce Holley returned my call and we have plans to meet at her office on Monday at noon, to exchange the "goods".
At last an answer to my prayers. The diapers and totes, made lovingly by the ladies at Anderson, MO, will be delivered and used by those in need.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Anniversary

God is Good. Yesterday I had my annual mammogram test. I passed with flying colors. Two years ago this week I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We spent a year fighting the disease. My doctors told us that it was important that we go for the win, and that meant surgery, chemo and radiation. It wasn't easy. It was humbling.
We cannot "do" this life without Faith in God. Every step of the way my God was with me. He was in the cards of friends and neighbors, in the food that people sent me. God was in the Prayer Quilt the Liberty UMC gave me. He was in the encouraging emails from girlfriends all over the USA.
Breast Cancer is nearly epidemic. Not everyone's fight is as successful as mine. But, I know that whatever happens in life, God will be there.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

5th Annual Meeting

I think everyone in attendance would agree that it was a glorious day. The weather was perfect for travel to our gathering this weekend. The event started off with 39 women visiting the campus of Ozark Methodist Manner in Marionville. They are doing such wonderful work there with Seniors.
We visited the main building and were treated to cookies and punch by the Marionville Unit of UMW. Then we toured several apartments and free standing cottages. Even the Marionville white squirrels appeared on command.

Our meeting on Saturday began with music, worship and greetings from the Ozark North Superintendent. The women of Schweitzer UMC really went overboard with their RADICAL HOSPITALITY. Many thanks to Lynette, Connie, and Janet for working overtime to make Saturday a special event.

We accomplished all of our Official Business on Saturday morning, including making a Pledge to Women's Division of $420,000. We are honored as a Conference to make the largest pledge to Mission in our Jurisdiction. Last year we topped our goal! And, speaking of goals, Kay Dodd, of Canton, sold nearly $1,000 in Ribbon Corsages. What a woman! And, what wonderful support by the women of Missouri, to our Mission effort.

Ms Tracy Milsap gave us our Keynote Address on Saturday afternoon. She is a noted speaker and animated storyteller from St. James UMC in KCMO. Tray's inspirational message really highlighted our theme, "Called By Name".

We all sang the hymn "We Are Called" as our closing. The words of that song are so meaningful to our organization. We are truly called as Christians to "seek justice, love one another and walk humbly with God."

As we travel around the state, trying to hold our meetings in various settings, it is such a blessing to see and hear of all of the terrific mission projects of United Methodist Women. Next year we'll meet in Poplar Bluff.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

On the Road for Mission

I was off bright and early yesterday morning. My first stop was the Church Women United Quilt Show at St. James UMC, in South Kansas City. The ladies of the Kansas City Unit of CWU
had prepared a beautiful high tea, featuring the cup and saucer collection of Ms Bobbie Faulkner.
The Rev. Joyce Holley and I had a fine time discussing United Methodism and I also had the opportunity to talk at length with former KC Councilwoman, Joanne Collins.
Joanne and I have quite a lot in common. She knows many of my friends in KC North. We are both committed to political issues rather than political party....at least AFTER the primaries. And, we are both KU Graduates and Jayhawk fans. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
However, we both had to leave before the Quilts appeared. They were supposed to be shown from 10-3 p.m. They were not there by 11:30, so I moved on to my next objective.
At 12 noon, the Board of Directors of Della Lamb Community Services met. Della Lamb is a United Methodist Related Mission, supported in part by the GBGM and especially Women's Division. They currently have 472 students in their Charter School. Much of the work that The Lamb does has always been related to immigrants in the Northeast Area of Kansas City.
After that meeting, I headed to Office Max to do some copying work for UMW Annual Meeting.
This Saturday we will hold our 5th Missouri Conference Annual Meeting. It's difficult to believe this is our fifth one. We are meeting in Springfield this year, and we have pre-registered around 300. Annual Meeting is a time of celebration and recognition of our Mission effort for the past year.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

District Supers

Today, I met two of our Missouri Conference District Superintendents at one Church Service. Neither was in attendance in an offical capacity. I think they were just traveling through and happened to choose Kearney UMC, to visit this morning. Fred Leist was more than a bit surprised to see them, I think. Anyway, they got a great sermon, a wonderful anthem from the choir and as a bonus they got to meet the Conference UMW President.

"My Lord, what a morning."

The fog was so thick this morning on our drive to Kearney, that we could not see the oncoming traffic in the Southbound lanes of I-35. The countryside was invisible and all we could see was a few hundred yards in front of us. There was a lot of trust involved in our commute this morning.

We made it to church and back safely. God is Good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

September Musings

Believe it or not, I am thrilled that I just had another birthday. This was the big one when I became eligible to receive Social Security Benefits. Wow, 62 and still counting!
Each birthday we have should be a celebration of God's blessings. We should honestly be excited that we have been granted another bit of time to experience all of God's greatness. Anyway, I'm thrilled. Woo Hoo. I've signed on for another 365.
Now, the Social Security Experience....that's another matter. I thought by the time they were finished with the interview, I would end up paying them money.